15 February 2021
Blyth’s Friends of Ridley Park are relaunching a £50,000 fundraising campaign to create a stunning new entrance to Ridley Park.
The idea of the entrance began back in 2015 at a member meeting where it was strongly felt that young people in Blyth should have their say about how to improve the entrance. After discussions with two local senior schools, work began in 2017 between Friends of Ridley Park and The Blyth Academy.
Chair of Friends of Ridley Park Fiona Gibson explained: “We felt that if young people took ownership of the design, they would look after this green space well.
“Throughout 2017 we worked with a keen group of students, supported by a member of staff, to design a new main entrance. All this work was done in break times and after school.
“It was treated as a real life work commission including a design brief, several rounds of feedback and revisions to the design. In 2018 we raised £1,000 to engage a Blyth based architect to prepare the necessary planning application and apply for planning permission. This was was granted in 2019.
“2019 was a busy year for the group, so it was only after completing a number of other projects in the park that we started to focus on this bigger project, quickly securing a conditional grant of £15,000 from Blyth Town Council which will be paid if we raise the remaining £34,000 needed. Then Covid happened and our activities were very much curtailed.
“We’re delighted that blacksmith artist Stephen Lunn will be interpreting the students’ designs. Stephen made the spectacular gates at Alnwick Gardens so we know his work will provide a wonderful park entrance.
“While we are still in lockdown and there are likely to be restrictions for some time, the Friends felt that having something like this to focus on and look forward to would be a boost for the town.
“We can’t do our normal fundraising events at the moment, so we’re trying to find imaginative ways to raise the money so we can realise this dream and create a park entrance the whole town can be proud of.”
Friends of Ridley Park has signed up with One Lottery where people can buy £1 lottery tickets, 50p of which comes straight back to the fundraising cause.
Supporters who shop on line can also sign up with EasyFundraising and Amazon Smile and look for Friends of Ridley Park. These organisations donate money every time you shop and it doesn’t cost you a penny.
To buy One Lottery tickets go to https://www.onelottery.co.uk/support/friends-of-ridley-park
Sign up with EasyFundraising at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/dashboard/#
Sign up with Amazon Smile at https://smile.amazon.co.uk
People can also make a donation to Friends of Ridley Park. Contact Friends’ secretary Claire Young at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
You can find out more Stephen Lunn at http://anvilman.co.uk